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Using Stars to See Gravitational Waves | Space Time

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Thank you to Brilliant for sponsoring this episode! To find out more, visit: https://brilliant.org/SpaceTime

Now that gravitational waves are definitely a thing, it’s time to think about some of the crazy things we can figure out with them. In some cases we’re going to need a gravitational wave observatory - in fact, we've already built one.

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Previous Episode:
The Physics of Life (ft. It's Okay to be Smart & PBS Eons!)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcfLZSL7YGw&t=25s

We are at the cusp of a golden age of gravitational wave astronomy. We’ve already talked about the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory–LIGO, and the first discovery of gravitational waves here. Those videos came out almost two years ago. A lot has happened since then. First, an update on LIGO. In its two and a half years of operation, LIGO has observed five certain black hole–black hole mergers. These events have been consistently surprising.

Reinterpreting Low Frequency LIGO/Virgo Events as Magnified Stellar-Mass Black Holes at Cosmological Distances
Broadhurst, Diego & Smoot (2018)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.05273

On Stellar-Mass Black Hole Mergers in AGN Disks Detectable with LIGO
McKernan et al. 2018
https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.07818

Stars as Resonant Absorbers of Gravitational Waves
McKernan, Ford, Kocsis & Haiman
https://arxiv.org/abs/1405.1414

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